Five Questions with a UMKC Walt Disney World Cast Member

Psychology student makes magic with her internship
Alyssa Schulz at the Walt Disney World Resort

Alyssa Schulz (’25) wanted to participate in an internship while she was studying psychology and criminal justice at UMKC. That’s when she decided “I’m going to Disney World!”

The Disney College Program offers a variety of employment and learning opportunities for college students from across the country. These students are still called “cast members,” like everyone else who works for the Walt Disney Company. Schulz was accepted for the Fall Advantage program in a merchandise role at the Port Orleans Riverside resort, which means she will work with the company from May until January. Schulz sat down with us to share some of the magic she gets to experience as a Disney College Program cast member.

What gave you the idea to apply for the Disney College Program?

I heard about it first at one of my jobs. Someone said they had applied, but it was during COVID. The program got canceled that year, but that's when I first heard about it. At my other job, my managers used to work at the Disney Store near me, and they knew about it. That’s when I really looked into it because it sounded so fun. I thought you had to live in Orlando already and work there forever. When I found out I could just be there for seven months, it seemed really cool.

Looking ahead, what are you hoping to get out of your program?

I’ve found out I really want a career in hospitality. Disney is a big company, and I’d love to continue in it. Working at the resorts is so chill and fun, so I’d love to stay on that path after I get my degree.

What would you say your time at UMKC has done to prepare you for an opportunity like this?

I think UMKC is such an inclusive university. I've seen so many different types of people, and all the professors are very open to whoever, and so is Disney. I know UMKC encourages students to do internships, and I even talked with the chair of the psychology department while I was applying. Even though it doesn't technically align with my major, she was so excited for me. Everyone's so kind and supportive, and I'm grateful about that.


What is your favorite part about working at Disney World?

I love interacting with so many different people from all around the world. And again, it's a very inclusive company. Those two things mean a lot to me: meeting new people and being very inclusive.

What's your favorite part of going to the theme parks?

I love the rides. The new Guardians of the Galaxy roller coaster in Epcot is amazing. Rise of the Resistance in Hollywood Studios is a good one. Also, the Peter Pan ride in Magic Kingdom is a classic.

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